The overarching question for this seminar is can environmental initiatives led by government, non-government or private sector actors achieve sustainable outcomes that support or catalyze human development? The course will draw on the theoretical foundations of public policy, political economy and the field of environment for development economics and policy. The role of environmental policy and practice in human development will be examined through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are currently reorienting the efforts of multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, developing country governments and private sector actors, and through the current paradigms of results-based financing, evidence-based policy making, and the rise of market oriented approaches to development. The core analytic orientation of the course is fundamentals of monitoring and evaluation for sustainability for development initiatives including realistic evaluation, research design for causal inference, measurement challenges for sustainability and development outcomes, data sources and quality, and cost-effectiveness analysis. The course will draw on a range of cases from low and middle income countries including efforts to address water and sanitation, air pollution and energy access, forest-based climate mitigation, large-scale hydro infrastructure development, and land grabs.
Recommended prerequisite: An intermediate course in public policy, economics or political science.